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Mike Aremu Vison

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The best kept secret in music


"I heal with my music – Mike Aremu, ace sexophonist"

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mike Aremu
Pix:Sun News Publishing

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Mike Adeyemi Aremu, popularly known as Mike Aremu, is a notable Nigerian singer and saxophonist. The humble musician who hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo State, started music at the age of four and has over the years honed his skills to become a songwriter, composer and instrumentalist.

Recently, Aremu went on tour of the United Kingdom where he performed at different concerts in addition to having a stint at a wedding ceremony. He also entertained guests during a convention hosted by the London-based House on the Rock Mission.

While on the performance tour, Aremu equally put finishing touches to his new album, entitled: Unveiled aside seizing the opportunity to complete his new photo album.

Aremu recalled that his lovely mother, Mrs. Janet Aremu, 74, brought him into music through the church choir. He also remembered how his elder sister used to play trumpet in the choir, while they were young. Today, the multi-talented artiste believes God has deposited in him a divine gift through music. He is, therefore, grateful to God for his progress since the release of his first album Oluwaseun, which became an instant hit.

While speaking on his new album, Aremu explained how and why he left Kennis Music for Ojez.

How I started
I started playing music as a chorister at the then Cherubim and Seraphim, Minna, Niger State. Then, we had a tradition whereby we play music, using the local percussions unlike what obtains nowadays. I enjoy playing the drums then but the trumpet has actually been my major instrument for a very long time. I first started with the keyboard and the guitar, later, I trained as a saxophone in 1992 and mastered it but I became a full professional in 1995.

God is my inspiration. I see music as my ministry and not as a business. I use my music to heal the broken heart and give hope to the hopeless and I am contented with the blessing that goes with the music. Recently, I was touched at a concert at Washington DC when a medical doctor walked up to me to commend my music and to appreciate God blessings in his life. He said, " whenever I want to undergo an operation, I play your music because there is so much blessings and faith in it with great spiritual power, I feel the presence of God in the theatre room" I was moved to tears knowing that the lord has being using my music to touch the lives of the sick. And it was my first concert ever outside Nigeria, I was really encouraged by his words and all that the Lord is using me to do in the lives of people.

Journey so far
In 1999, I decided to take music more professionally because music has been my hobby and I find joy in playing instrumentals. I signed a recording deal with Kennis Music being the frontline recording label then in the country to help boost my music as well as bring out the best in me. After my first and second albums, which were released under Kennis music, I released the latest album entitled: Unveiled under my own label, Mike Aremu Vision. The album contains 10 tracks including Bona, Dance 4 Joy, Jehovah, Ose, Halleluyah, Wonder, You Are The One (Iwo ni mo fe) and Unveiled, which is the track’s title. It was released under my label but now, I have re-unveiled it with Ojez recording company.

Why I left Kennis
I left Kennis after my contract expired though I never thought of signing another recording deal with the company. Though we never had any form of dispute before I left, l just decided to move on with my life because I believed in myself and having God on my side, I had the conviction in my heart that I will definitely make it. I have always put God first in all I do in life especially as it concerns my music. So, whatever level I attain in life is traceable to the glory of God upon my life. The statement the label made on some previous publications about some artistes they dropped has nothing to do with me because I had already left the company after my deal expired.

I appreciate God for His mercies in my life and I will always live to appreciate Kennis for all their supports in the past for promoting my music.

Impact of the first album
I feel great being an artiste most especially a gospel artiste because the more I grow the more Lord inspires me. I will say that my first album really made a great impact on my person because it brought out the real Mike Aremu. Though I play inspirational music and it is more spiritual because it has a lot of messages on healing and giving the hopeless hope.

Kind of music
My music is gospel oriented, I play Jazz though Jazz it is not well recognized in the country but I appreciate the fact that Nigerians are beginning to appreciate Jazz especially the gospel form of it. I’m a saxophone player basically and a great composer. I enjoy playing the saxophone because its what makes me outstanding among other artistes. I appreciate my kind - Sun news

"Mike Aremu ”Unveiled”"

The Gospel Revue Online

Mike Aremu ”Unveiled”

Mike Aremu Vision

One of ’s best celebrated instrumentalists Mike Aremu, a solo Jazz saxophonist, unleashes probably his most striking project yet.

What’s impressive is that in terms of sales (over a million units alone in his native West Africa) Mike has all the qualities to make him a world class act. The ultra-smooth intro “Boma” starts in a conventional Jazz-toned manner and allows for the surprise musical mix to impact the listener greatly. Mike may have his music embedded in the Jazz route but he draws heavily from West African rhythms like on the lead single “Oluwaseun” and on that tune you have a touch of the West Indies (Reggae) thrown in for good measure. Then there’s the fiesta-flavoured “Unveiled” where it’s like he pays homage to the amalgamation of world beats starting off in true Salsa style but soon taps into the infectious upbeat percussive beats of West Africa – vivid and dripping in amazing imagination.

Then to straddle another market, he takes it to the full-on Retro-Jazz vibes on “Dance 4 Joy” where the melodic soft-tinged vocals give it that real throw-back groove. Again going down a similar vain is “Wonder” where he chooses to feature lead vocalist Yinka Davies who scats and harmonises her way through this delightful dinner Jazz number. What sounds like an introduction to the “Lion King” quickly comes into its own riding a Funk-Jazz groove and Mike showing his true skills as a musician playing Sax notes against the bubbling bass line.

With acts like Kirk Whalum and Allen & Allen towing the line the Gospel Jazz/Saxophone scene, Mike brings in a distinct dimension with his world beat compositions and Yuroba-influenced choruses. Truly, a new international star is born.

DJ El Niño © November 2005


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"The Experience ::: BRACE YOURSELF !"

Pastor, author, artist, entrepreneur, philanthropist... international influence, Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes began his ministry in 1979 with a congregation of ten people, when he founded the Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith in West Virginia. Today, Bishop Jakes’ church in Dallas, “The Potter’s House” is one of America’s fastest growing mega-churches from which hope and restoration have reached millions around the world. Multiracial and nondenominational, the Potter's House has 50-plus active outreach ministries, more than 30,000 members, and a full-time staff of 300.

Being a man of wide influence, Bishop Jakes has visited the White House in meetings with both Presidents Bush and Clinton—and shared spiritual guidance with President Rawlings of Ghana and President Obasanjo of Nigeria. He was a guest of the King of Jordan, King Abdullah; the President of Trinidad, George Maxwell Richards, and in January 2005, the president of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri K. Museveni, and his wife, Janet Museveni.


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Kurt is described as a man who is gifted and anointed in all things musical. Since 1991, he has composed, arranged and released many gospel albums. Starting his own record label, Gospo Centric in 1992, the energetic musical director led his group through several albums of contemporary music. Kurt has been an active promoter of the acts of his record label, including such industry heavy hitters like Trin-i-tee 5:7. Gospel Gangstas, and Kirk Franklin and the family. He has a global mission to reach every nation, tongue and people through his latest release – One Church.


As a songwriter, Don has written over 100 songs; as a worship leader, he has led worship on every continent but Antartica. And as a producer and business man, he has recorded numerous albums. He serves as the President of integrity Music and vice president /creative director for integrity Media. As an artist, he has sold over five million units.

In 2002, he was presented with the Ray DeVries Church Ministry award by his peers. He also received a Dove Award for his work on the musical “God with us”. Despite his many creative pursuits, family (his wife Laura and their five children) is his first priority.


Armed with a warm spirit, an abundant faith, a pure heart and the desire for everyone she comes in contact with to have the same experience, CeCe’s abundant gifts also serve as the platform for her purpose beyond the music. The six-time Grammy award winner is a visionary humanitarian with sharp business acumen.

Married twenty-one years with a daughter and son in college, ages eighteen and twenty (respectively), CeCe the wife and mother has managed to balance her personal and professional lives with relative ease. With a supportive, loving spouse (their last name not coincidentally, Love) and having her priorities in order, CeCe is clear about her foundation; God is at the center, everything else revolves around him, and that works in her favour. Being encouraged and inspired by life, CeCe Winans is very clear on her agenda. “Good always conquers evil,” she acknowledges, “we just have to create those outlets.”


Israel Houghton is considered a forerunner and architect of cross-cultural worship. He has written hundreds of songs for the church worldwide and is an award winning producer and arranger. Israel is the Founder and President of New Breed Music which is a worship movement that crosses all cultural, generational, and denominational boundaries. He also serves as worship leader at Lakewood Church in Houston with Pastor Joel Osteen.

However; simply put Israel says, “I am a husband to Meleasa, a father to Mariah, Israel II, and Milan Lily, and a Friend of God.”


Lionel Petersen has been leading and teaching worship in churches across South Af - The Experience

"Life : A Worthy Experience"

Thousands of people gather at the Tafawa Balewa Square to savour a night of gospel music

Esther Odumakin, 35, has always loved Don Moen’s sensuous and soul-moving gospel music. It was to her, the most complete form of gospel music she has ever listened to. For so long, Esther had dreamt of seeing her beloved Moen performed live. She however, could not as the international gospel music crooner never appeared in the country. To make up for the deficiency, she collected every CD of the revered musician she could lay her hands on. But on 30 November, Esther came face to face with her idol. As it turned out for her, it was indeed, the most thrilling experience. “This is my day. I can’t believe I am seeing Don Moen live. I am so happy,” she drooled.

Like Esther, the Tafawa Balewa Square, (TBS), in the heart of Lagos provided the right ambience for a thrilling musical encounter for the estimated 250,000 Nigerian Christians across all denominations that filled the main arena of the square, the adjoining cricket pitch and streets. Aptly titled, Experience, the event is the brainchild of the Rock Foundation, an organ of the House on the Rock Church, led by Senior Pastor Paul Adefarasin. It featured top American gospel stars including Tye Tribbett, Kurt Karr, Israel Houghton, Marvin and his sister Cece Winas. In tow was the renowned televangelist Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes, better known as T.D. Jakes.

Lionel Petersen, the renowned South African international gospel singer led the African assault, supported by Nigeria’s London-based Muyiwa Olanrewaju, saxophonist Mike Aremu and Asu Ekiye.

Unarguably, Moen was the cynosure of all eyes at the concert. The reason is not unconnected with his profile as a well-heeled international gospel artiste, loved and admired across the globe. The fact that he had never been in the country also carved him out for special attention. His performance also did not come short of anybody’s expectation either. When he stepped into the stage at about 2 am, the capacity audience erupted up in a deafening uproar. It was visibly the right tonic Moen required to work himself into frenzy. As he slid from one popular tune to another, the crowd sang and danced along as if hypnotised. The atmosphere became electric as he upped his rhythm into high tempo gear especially as he rendered the song, God Is Good. Accentuated by his well-tuned violin and quickened country rhythm, no one was astonished as the crowd urged him to continue even when it was time to for him to leave the stage. An ecstatic Moen readily agreed and rendered two more songs to the admiration of all. Asked why despite being a house hold name in the country, he never visited until now, Moen replied that there was no particular reason except that things must happen at the appropriate time. Indeed Moen lived up to the promise he made before the concert that he would make his visit most memorable. It was obviously his night.

Karr, Petersen, Houghton, Tribbett, Marvin and Cece Winas were also in their elements at the concert. Peterson, the only South African on the train, began the second phase of the concert after the Nigerian duo of Olanrewaju and Ekiye. Petersen evoked memories of God’s goodness to everyone despite race or creed with rendition of Peace, one of his most popular songs. It was, mildly put a soul-stirring song. Next on stage came Tribbett who described his music as earth, wind and fire meet Christ. The dizzying tempo of Tribbett’s hip gospel music accompanied by wild jumps and vigorous dance steps turned out to be everything the largely young people who were in the majority at the concert needed. As it were, Tribbett made it clear that he is also a good preacher as he made even some senior pastors at the event call for more of his inspirational mid-music sermons.

Houghton and especially Karr changed the tempo and mood of the event as they rendered worship songs. Solemn and moving, both kept the audience praying and at the same time swaying slowly to the songs. Many of the people were moved to a point of lying flat on the ground while many others fell on their knees in worship moods. As the two singers continued, many more people could not help shedding tears for whatever reason. The mood is easier experienced than described.

Marvin and sister Cece also pulled the crowd in no small measure. With voices that appear to have embalming touches, they gave nobody any time to feel alone.

Ekiye Aremu and Olanrewaju who anchored the Nigerian flag at the event also acquitted themselves creditably. Ekiye, with his unique Niger Delta (Warri) dance steps and songs successfully woke the crowd into frenzy, especially with his popular songs. A few of the foreign acts at the back of the stage while he performed could not resist dancing as he slid from one track to another. It was more of a fulfilment of an earlier promise he made before the concert that he would let the world know that Nigeria gospel acts have - Th News(By Ernest Omoarelojie )


Released: 2005

1 Boma - Intro
2 Boma
3 Unveiled
4 Oluwaseun
5 Dance 4 Joy
6 Jehovah
7 Ose
8 Halleyah
9 Wonder
10 You are the One (Iwo Ni Mo Fe)

Released: 2002

1 Fuji Jazz
2 Fuji Jazz (Instrumental)
3 No Shaking (Kosofo)
4 Prayer (feat. Aboyewa & Gbenga Owoeye)
5 Kilo o le se (feat. Paul I.K. Dairo)
6 Great I am
7 MoreLove (feat. Agboola Shadare)
8 Odi Onye Di Kagi
9 I go worship my God
10 Thankful (Medley)
a. Olorun mo wa dupe
b. Baba ose

Released: 1999

1 Dance
2 Worship Medley
3 Sheke Sheke
4 Oluwa Ku ise
5 I wil lift up Jesus
6 Baba Ye
7 Your Life (feat. Kenny St. Ogungbe)
8 Hallowed be thy Name (Feat. Gbenga Owoeye-ise & Segun Obe)



Mike Aremu can easily be seen as one of the front runners of world-class Saxophone players but what sets this distinguished musician apart is ability to draw from traditional Nigerian sounds to create a sound that represents both creative-passion and his culture.

Growing up in the state of Niger, Nigeria (West Africa), his musical interest started from the age of eight where in Church each child was encouraged in playing a musical instrument. Starting with drums, by the age of ten he had also mastered the keyboard, guitar and bass. However it was the trumpet that became his main focus and remained so until 1992. During that year he had his first encounter playing an alto Saxophone at Revival Assembly Church, Lagos. Previously Mike had never thought of adding the Saxophone to his repertoire of instruments and had only seen it being played from a distance.

From there with some basic lessons and determination by 1995 he decided to make the full transition and concentrate solely on the Saxophone. The following year, he joined House on the Rock’s music team playing alongside the likes of Sammie Okposo, Agboola Shadare, Abiodun Akhigbe, Victor James, Gbenga Owoeye Wise and others. At about this time, Mike was also playing with the Compassion band of the Strong Tower Mission. As his confidence grew so did his reputation as a charismatic musician. This resulted in a stream of appearances at such venues in Nigeria as Pintos, The Green Lion, Club Towers, K’s Place and Mega Plaza’s Dome. Demand for his talent came in thick and fast with Mike completing session work for Onyeka Onwenu, Ras Kimono, King Wasiu, Ayinde Marshal, Kingsley Ike and Olufunmi to mention a few.

The next step in Mike’s career was signing a record deal with Kennis Music Label, Nigeria’s largest record label, through which he released two chart-topping albums “Dance” (1999) and “No Shaking” (2002) shifting a combined total of more than 1.5 million copies. He has also recorded two songs for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in the United States.

Nowadays Mike spends a considerable amount of time travelling and performing at venues across the world. To date he has played alongside notable international artists like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Winans, Ron Kenoly, Mary Mary and Adlan Cruz. He appeared at the John F Kennedy Centre, Washington DC’s main concert arena. He has also made considerable progress in Europe, in particular the UK where he has performed in two of London’s principle music venues – The Barbican and Ocean as part of the annual Awesome Praise concerts. He has also played at Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), the UK’s largest Pentecostal Church and many of the branches of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) – one of the world’s largest chains of Nigerian-based Church networks.

Industry recognition has also been bestowed on this innovative Saxophone composer where he adds TOMA Awards (Today’s Gospel Music Awards) and AMEN Awards on his list of gongs received – Best Instrumental Album of the Year and Best Gospel Music Video of the Year. He was also nominated twice at the KORA Award’s in 2003 which is Africa’s best known and recognised mainstream music awards ceremony. JCI's TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young People) - Best self-developed personality.

Mike’s much anticipated new album “Unveiled” was released first to the Pan-African market October 2005. The project is a reflection of Mike’s musical outlook with a distinct international appeal. You’ll find Latin influences, Makossa, Blues, Soukus all laid on a strong West African foundation. The first radio single out off the new album is “Oluwaseun” combining infectious West African percussion and Middle Eastern flavours with pulsating Ragga-style rhythms.

Mike Aremu has begun to firmly establish himself on the international music scene. With extensive touring planned along with the new project, all this ensures that Mike will not only be a worthy ambassador of Nigeria but represent quality, innovative and above all God-inspired music.

For more information,
please call/e-mail
T. +234 8055677549
E: jeffhonfor@yahoo.com